After monster energy wasters like air conditioning and heating, your refrigerator is probably the biggest contributor to your energy bill. Keeping your fridge running efficiently will cut your monthly energy costs and greatly decrease your carbon footprint.
Here are some ways to keep your refrigeration environmentally sound:
Keep the door closed. The longer you stand with that door wide open, the harder your fridge has to work to keep its temperature down and if your heating’s on, it has to work harder too.
Check your seals, all the way around. Your fridge and freezer doors should be able to hold a piece of paper tightly in place. If not, they’re letting too much air seep through.
Check your temperatures. Your fridge probably doesn’t need to be colder than 3 or 4 degrees Celsius (38 or 40 degrees Fahrenheit), and your freezer doesn’t need to be colder than -18 degrees Celsius (or 0 degrees Fahrenheit).
Pack your freezer with ice. A full freezer uses less energy than an empty one. The same goes for your fridge. If you’ve got a beer fridge in the basement or an extra freezer in the garage, and they’re mostly empty most of the time, they’re a huge waste of energy. Unplug them.
Clean your condenser. A dust-free condenser is an efficient one.
Take out the light bulb. An incandescent bulb adds heat to your fridge, and it’s probably unnecessary if your kitchen light is on.
Finally, get a new fridge. Fridges are now designed for energy efficiency choose one with the Energy Star label, for example. And if you’ve got a fridge in its teens or 20s, it may still use harmful CFC refrigerants.
To close, another look at cloth diapers
Thank you to reader Jaci Coningham, from Brazil, who points out that cloth diapers may require more work and water than they’re worth, especially considering disposable diapers can be efficiently recycled. Thanks, Jaci, for bringing this resource to our attention!